The Lego Movie Directed by: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller Written by: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (screenplay & story), Dan Hageman & Kevin Hageman (story) Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell and Morgan Freeman
The two things that The Lego Movie most immediately recalls are the South Park “Imaginationland” episodesand Team America: World Police, biting pop cultural critiques from Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The Lego Movie is, obviously, much more toned down and targeted at children (there is no MPAA trolling “sex” scene like the marionette one in Team America). What exactly the movie seems to be satirizing becomes a bit watered down by the hypocrisy of its own design.
It starts off in a Lego world that George Orwell or Ray Bradbury may have built, where the inhabitants all follow the instruction manuals or risk being melted by President Business (Will Ferrell). The Lego Movie is not (and cannot) be totally anti-business, though. President Business eventually becomes Lord Business who eventually becomes (spoiler) a micromanaging dad in the human world telling his kid not to mess with immaculately constructed (and unimaginative) Lego buildings. The movie is designed to show how much fun a dad and son can have with (spoiler) Legos! The movie is more pro-child imagination, though I’m sure all Legos made after this movie will still come with instructions.
Batman Begins Directed by: Christopher Nolan Written by: Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer (screenplay) Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, and Katie Holmes
Christopher Nolan goes the route of Stanley Kubrick in his take on the Batman mythology. Kubrick was infamous for taking acclaimed works of literature and making them his own, just ask Stephen King. It’s hard to say what Bob Kane and Bill Finger, Batman’s true origin, would say about Nolan’s origin story. The colorful world is all but stripped away, replaced with the gritty streets of Gotham City and induced with a tinge of noir.
Though he would go on to create a masterpiece in 2008’s The Dark Knight, Nolan needed to establish his version of this world and the principle characters in it. In that respect he is mostly successful.
The A-Team Directed by: Joe Carnaham Written by: Joe Carnaham, Brian Blood, Skip Woods Starring: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, Quinten Jackson, Patrick Wilson, Jessica Biel
The A-Team, without really intending it or hoping to, is likely to become the very face of the summer 2010 box office. Not that it will be remembered years from now, a year from now, or even a month from now, but there are certain (all) elements of The A-Team that just have a way of summing up how much of a shit-show this summer has turned out to be.
With sequel after sequel, adaptation after adaptation, remake after remake, finding quality entertainment even for a summer action flick has proven to be harder than stopping a little leak in the Gulf, which as far as I’m concerned, has proven to be more entertaining coverage to watch than anything I’ve yet to see in theatres these past few months. Continue reading →
It starts off underwater. The young fish we will soon know as Ponyo (Noah Cyrus) makes her way to the surface in an elaborate, beautiful opening sequence. When she arrives, she meets Sosuke (Frankie Jonas), a vibrant and happy five year old boy who rescues her from a glass jar. The fish licks the wound, healing it and binding her DNA with that of a human. She begins to take on human characteristics, learning to speak and sprouting limbs. All the while, her father (Liam Neeson) is keen on keeping her the way she is, and takes her back into the underwater realm. She breaks free, and once liberated, unleashes the sea and makes her way back to Sosuke.